Judy Chicago
Rainbow AR

Launch: 10 November 2020

Judy Chicago continues her long-running Atmospheres series, inviting global audiences to experience newly created Smoke Sculptures™ in Augmented Reality (AR).

Judy Chicago Rainbow AR, 2020. © Judy Chicago ®

Renowned American artist Judy Chicago’s first virtual artwork, commissioned by LAS, builds upon and continues her celebrated series Atmospheres (1968 – present). Global audiences are invited to experience this latest Smoke Sculpture™ performance in Augmented Reality (AR).

Chicago is a groundbreaking artist, author, feminist, educator and intellectual whose career spans five decades. She began her Atmospheres series in the late 1960s, working with pyrotechnics to produce complex firework pieces. Presented as ephemeral, site-specific performances, these works use coloured smoke intended to transform and soften the landscape. As an artist whose practice is deeply rooted in the physical experience of these works, Judy Chicago RainbowAR marks a new stage in Chicago’s long history with pyrotechnics, working with new AR technologies to push the boundaries of the medium.

Produced in close collaboration with LAS and experience designers International Magic, Chicago created a new form of her Smoke Sculptures™, which is now brought into the digital realm. During this uncertain time when public gatherings are limited and our relationships with personal and public spaces are changing, Judy Chicago RainbowAR is accessible to audiences wherever they are based, allowing them to have their own site-specific experience, activating and ‘beautifying’ their own surroundings.

‘This work is a new way to bring the experience of my Smoke Sculptures™ to audiences around the world who might not be familiar with my long-standing efforts to soften and feminise the often-harsh, patriarchal world around us. At this moment in time, it seems even more important to offer the opportunity to bathe our environments with light, art and beauty in order to inspire hope and through a visual metaphor, suggest the possibility of positive change.’

Judy Chicago

Bringing individuals together through their experience of the work, Judy Chicago RainbowAR unfolds as an interactive performance, releasing plumes of smoke and changing colour. Curling and billowing across the viewers’ screens, the work will invite audiences to interact with the smoke, walking through or around it. Chicago conceived the scenography for the piece and chose the colours and sequencing to offer a unique experience of her smoke performances only possible in the virtual world. The experience is accompanied by a polyphonic soundtrack, realised in collaboration with sound designer Colin Bailey, which uses soundscapes made from recordings from Judy Chicago’s work with pyrotechnician Chris Souza, of Pyro Spectaculars.

Innovative new techniques were used to translate and simulate the aesthetic and unique behaviours of Chicago’s Smoke Sculptures™ inside Augmented Reality. International Magic used cutting-edge technologies including device motion, fluid smoke simulations, real-time particle systems, noise shaders and harmonic sound to create an authentic, interactive experience, unique to the viewer each time they enter the work.

Making-of Judy Chicago Rainbow AR

© 2020 Judy Chicago ® Smoke Sculptures ™ Judy Chicago Rainbow AR. Commissioned by Light Art Space (LAS). Experience produced by International Magic

Rainbow AR

© 2020 Judy Chicago ® Smoke Sculptures ™ Judy Chicago Rainbow AR
Commissioned by Light Art Space (LAS). Experience produced by International Magic

Atmospheres (1968 – present)

‘There was a moment when the smoke began to clear, but a haze lingered. And the whole world was feminised — if only for a moment.’

Judy Chicago

Access Requirements

The devices supported are iPhone 8 and above, and Samsung Galaxy S8 or equivalent. The App requires a phone with a minimum of 4GB of memory and Apple iOS 11 or Android 8.0 Oreo (API 24) operating system.

Click here to view the Privacy Policy for Judy Chicago Rainbow AR.


Judy Chicago

‘For decades, the feminist artist was pushed to the sidelines. Relevant once again, she can no longer be ignored.’

— Sasha Weiss, The New York Times

Photograph by Collier Schorr. Styled by Suzanne Koller


‘I want to create an experience of beauty in one's personal environment at a time when public gatherings are limited. Rainbow AR can transform our internal spaces, if only for a few moments.’

– Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago, 2020 Photo © Donald Woodman_ARS, New York


© 2020 Judy Chicago ®
Smoke Sculptures™
Judy Chicago Rainbow AR
Commissioned by Light Art Space (LAS)
Experience produced by ​International Magic

Project Team

Artist: Judy Chicago

Head of Programmes: Amira Gad, LAS

Communications Assistant: Selin Şahin, LAS

Creative Director: Adam Rodgers, International Magic

Producer: Ben McKinnon, International Magic

Art Director: Agnete Morell, International Magic

Developer: Jonathan Landon, International Magic

Sound Designer: Colin Bailey, International Magic

Consultant: Noland Chaliha

Creative Consultant: Donald Woodman

Pyrotechnician Consultant: Chris Souza, Pyro Spectaculars

Chicago Woodman Studio LLC: Megan Schultz, Michael Apolo Gomez